Gorman Arts Centre

"This exhibition presents research in progress. As a result of recent fieldwork in Europe this body of work focuses on the magical artifact – reliquaries, voodoo dolls, votive objects, folk magic, juju, ex voto – objects that incorporate human remains or a mimesis of the body. Where there is a material and psychic strategy to harness a spiritual or magical affect. The transference of energy, heat or mana between body and object as a means by which the material world is animated, charged up, and exerts force over people – an exploration of gods in the making."

From Jay Kochel's website.

Image: Jay Kochel, The Wishful installation view, 2010.


Image: Simon Scheuerle, Next Form, installation view, 2010.


"Placemapsis a collage of identity - of where I have lived, spent holidays and explored. The images are like fragments of memory pieced back together in an attempt to map past experience visually. I am searching, zooming in and out, looking for traces of lost moments to create an understanding of time and place. What emerges from this investigation is not a nostalgic link to the past, it is a new interpretation that clearly maintains a distance between now and then, here and there."

Image: Tracey Meziane Benson, 2010, installation view.


The Twilight Girls, Helen Hyatt-Johnston and Jane Polkinghorne, have been collaborating since 1990, working in various media including photography, sculpture/installation and video. Working alongside their individual art practices The Twilight Girls take on a humorous and sometimes dark interpretation of their own bodies and the world in which they exist. A fixation on the ridiculousness of the female experience has been a touchstone across many works that reveal pervasive elements of humour, revolt and disgust. Their current body of work is titled The Dead Sea.

Image: The Twilight Girls, 2010, installation view.


With a broad range of influences from popular culture to historical painting, Shelley makes paintings on perspex to explore her personal preoccupation with death in Death Proof. With illusionary perspective within the perspex, Shelley uses abstract form based on what is seen when our eyes are closed as well as images of her friends playing dead, though placed outside of the physical world, maybe in ecstasy.

Image: Helen Shellley, Immortality With Out The Assistance of God no. 18, 2009.


Phwweeeeeeeeeeeiiiippp… with the shrill of a whistle, men, women, boys and girls race to be the first to gain possession of the ball, all across Australia. Within the overarching umbrella of football in this country, Footy Fever seeks to represent the wildly varying connections that artists have with Aussie Rules, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, and Wheelchair Rugby. For those that complain they don’t know the rules, or what differentiates one code from the other, imagine how ridiculous it is for those looking in on the art world. By mingling the smell of grass and linen, sweat and paint, Footy Fever aims to connect with a far broader audience, and dispel the perceived elitism of contemporary art and the mindlessness of football. The exhibition explores the way artists engage with the sport through themes of sexuality, belief, belonging, history, nostalgia, religion, war, dedication and fandom, and declares football’s enduring relevance in the world of art.

The exhibition will bring together work from established, emerging and outsider artists, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, including Shoeb Ahmad, Alex Asch, Jon Cattapan, Mariana del Castillo, Dinni Kunoth Kemarre, Julian Laffan, Richard Lewer, James Lieutenant, Glenn Morgan, Louise Paramor, Meta Rothery, Daniel Savage, David Spooner and Theo Tremblay. Photography by Brenton McGeachie


In Outback Explorer, James Dodd uses painting to look at graffiti as a cultural indicator. While most think of graffiti as street art (think Keith Haring, Banksy, et all), Dodd sees graffiti as any marking made in a public space. Interested in crude insults and declarations, Dodd uses these unrestrained vandalisms as a signifier of people and the psyche of a place, here applied to a place he loves - the Australian outback. Using these writings to understand and explore the country, Dodd shows the truth of our backyard, removed from the myth and fantasy of Australian folklore.

Image: James Dodd, 2010.


In Connecting You, Robyn Backen looks broadly at the history and implications of mass communication. Backen's installation includes old phones and an audio component using phone conversations with JFK, both of which combine with the frequent use of circularity to evoke the power and ongoing relevance of telephone technology in contemporary society. Spiritual connotations of telephones and telephone technology are played against their banal and functional purpose.

Image: Robyn Backen, 2010, installation view.


Blaze is an annual showcase of Canberra's foremost emerging artists. Blaze Nine includes the work of eleven artists: Richard Blackwell, Jacqueline Bradley, Skylen Dall, Benjamin Forster, Rachael Freeman, Erica Hurrell, Robbie Karmel, Sarah Kaur, Tye McBride, TJ Phillipson and Adam Veikkanen. Six of the artists were CCAS studio residents in 2009 and all work in a diverse range of media. The show was curated carefully to demonstrate the breadth and potential of emerging artists in Canberra. From the collection of vastly differing works, strong themes of perceived realities and illusion became prevalent. Issues of reality and illusion raised by contemporary artists often unbalance and play with the audience's sensory awareness. To confront the interplay between past experiences and current interpretation, the exhibition artists use hidden meaning, humour, juxtaposition, optical illusion and seemingly innocent yet often jarringly honest images to challenge the viewer's perception of art and the world around them.

Words by Serge Bodulovic.

Image: installation view, 2010.


Image: Chloe Bussenschutt, 2010, installation view.